Manhattan (2013)

Cast Stone helps to construct unique house

UKCSA member Procter Cast Stone has worked closely with a client to create a unique house that appears to have been constructed entirely of solid stone - yet all of the ‘stone’ features are actually high-quality cast stone, which is a far more cost-effective construction material. Several thousand items of cast stone were supplied, weighing approximately 500 tonnes in total.

Right from the earliest stages of the project, Procter Cast Stone worked closely with the client who wanted to construct a unique private residence that looked as if it was made entirely of grey stone. In fact two shades of grey were used, one for the walling and another, slightly darker, for the door and window surrounds, quoins, string course and other features. These colours do not simulate any particular quarried stone, but they were selected by the client to achieve the desired visual appearance. The walling and quoins have a textured finish, whereas the cills, lintels, string course, eaves course, balustrade, copings, steps, chimney caps and other features are smooth. Additional cast stone units were supplied for the garden walling and indoor swimming pool surround, and a second phase of the project saw Procter Cast Stone provide materials for the construction of a garage.

Virtually all of the cast stone used on the project was bespoke, though the balustrade was a standard Procter Cast Stone catalogue product manufactured in the customer’s chosen shade of grey. The bespoke cast stone units were manufactured from the client’s plans and CAD files, but with Procter Cast Stone providing advice on the detailing to ensure that the cast stone could be manufactured as cost-effectively as possible. Reinforcement was incorporated where appropriate, as were threaded inserts that enabled lifting eyes to be fitted for easier and safer handling on site.

Ongoing technical support was provided as the project progressed, with representatives from Procter Cast Stone attending site meetings as required during the planning and construction phases. All of the cast stone units were labelled, and Procter Cast Stone provided comprehensive location drawings to eliminate any doubt about where each unit was to be positioned. Deliveries were made to agreed schedules so that the cast stone units were available when needed but were not stored on site unnecessarily - which would have been inconvenient for the contractor and might have put the cast stone at risk of damage. Scheduled deliveries were particularly important for this project because the building’s entire outer leaf and other external features are constructed from cast stone.

Starting with its response to the initial enquiry, Procter Cast Stone always provided whatever information and support was required, which is one of the reasons why the company won the contract. Other reasons were that Procter Cast Stone could easily cope with the need for bespoke items, the quantities involved were well within the company’s manufacturing capability, the cast stone could be manufactured with consistently high quality, and the price was competitive.

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